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Early Printing & Manuscripts / Natural History & Science

Medical secrets plus a largely imaginary Medieval European view of India

[ACHILLINI, Alessandro]. Secreta secretorum Aristotelis.
Including:
ARISTOTLE [pseudo]. Maximi philosophi ... de signis aquarum: & tempestatum.
ARISTOTLE [pseudo]. Maximi philosophurum ... de mineralibus.
ALEXANDER OF APHRODISIAS. De intellectu.
AVERROES. De beatitudine anime.
ACHILLINI, Alexander. De universalibus.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT [pseudo]. De mirabilibus Indie.
(Colophon: Lyon, Antoine Blanchard, 23 March) 1528. Small 8vo (15 x 10.5 cm). With a title-page with a decorated woodcut border, woodcut printer's device on last page, 6 woodcut initials. Contemporary blind-tooled sheepskin(?) parchment over wooden boards, in a panel design, brass catch-plates and anchor-plates (straps and clasps lost). Full description
€ 11,500
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First Italian edition of a pioneering work on medicinal plants in Asia & America

ACOSTA, Christoval. Trattato ... della historia, natura, et virtu delle droghe medicinali, & altri semplici rarissimi, che vengono portati dalle Indie Orientali in Europa, con le figure delle piante ritratte, & disegnate dal vivo poste a' luoghi proprii. Nuovamente recato dalla Spanuola nella nostra lingua.
Venice, Francesco Ziletti, 1585. 4to. With 45 nearly full-page woodcuts of plants, 2 nearly full-page woodcuts of two Indian elephants. A few woodcuts of plants (leaves) have been simply coloured by a contemporary hand. Recased in early limp sheepskin parchment. New endpapers. Full description
€ 9,500
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Rare early edition of a popular book of botanical, mineralogical and zoological wonders
with a large woodcut of the author among his books

ALBERTUS MAGNUS (pseudo). Liber secretorum ... De virtutibus herbarum: & animalium quorundam. Eiusdemq[ue] liber De mirabilibus mundi: & etiam de quibusdam effectibus causatis a quibusdam animalibus &c.
(Colophon: Venice, Johan Baptist Sessa, 12 February 1502). Small 4to (21 x 15.5 cm). With a large woodcut portrait of the author at his desk. Gold-tooled maroon morocco (ca. 1870/90?) for James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk (1827-1905), gilt edges. Full description
€ 12,500
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Largest assembly of natural history illustrations published before the 18th century

ALDROVANDI (ALDOVANDUS), Ulisse. [Opera omnia].
Bologna, 1599-1668. 13 volumes. Folio (35 x 24 cm). With engraved title-page to each volume, engraved full-page portrait of Aldrovandi in 3 volumes and several thousand woodcut illustrations in text, mostly after designs by J. Ligozzi and many full-page. Blind-tooled vellum (ca. 1645 & ca. 1670), with a large centrepiece on each board (the 11 volumes dated 1599-1642 from a single block; the 2 volumes dated 1648 & 1667 from a different block), the spines uniformly gold-tooled in the 18th-century. Full description
€ 150,000
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Famous sundial in the form of a poplar leaf, with beautiful woodcuts

APIANUS, Petrus. Folium populi.
(Colophon:) Ingolstadt, [Petrus Apianus], 22 October 1533. Folio (30 x 20.5 cm). With the text in Latin and German, title-page in red and black with a large woodcut by Hans Brosamer; a nearly full-page woodcut of the coat of arms of the dedicatee, J.G. of Loubenberg; a large woodcut diagram printed twice (in the Latin and in the German text); and 7 decorative initial letters. Without the folding plate included in a very small number of copies. Modern boards with the original fly-leaves preserved. Full description
€ 2,250
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Extensively illustrated classic of cosmography, geodesy, mensuration, perspective and optics

APIANUS (APIAN), Petrus and Gemma FRISIUS. Cosmographia.
Antwerp, Jan Verwithagen (colophon printed by Verwithagen), 1574. 4to. With a large woodcut on the title-page (with a terrestrial globe and other instruments); 4 printed paper volvelles with moving parts and a woodcut sun dial with a string attached to its centre; a folding woodcut cordiform mappa mundi (block size 19×27.5 cm) with letterpress text in the margins; well over 100 further woodcut illustrations, diagrams, maps, etc., in the text. Recased in 17th-century(?) limp sheepskin parchment. Full description
€ 12,500
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Belon's account of his extensive travels in the Levant, one of the earliest Plantin editions

BELON, Pierre. Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouvees en Grece, Asie, Indée, Egypte, Arabie & autres pays estranges.
Antwerp, Christoffel Plantin, 1555. 8vo. With Plantin's early woodcut device on title-page, a double-page woodcut map (31.5 x 35 cm) showing Mount Sinai, and 45 woodcut illustrations in text (including a portrait of the author). 18th-century gold-tooled calf, richly gold-tooled spine. Full description
€ 5,800
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Belon's account of his extensive travels in the Levant, with 44 woodcut illustrations

BELON, Pierre. Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouvées en Grece, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays estranges.
Paris, Guillaume Cavellat (colophon: printed by Benoist Prévost for Gilles Corozet, Guillaume Cavellat), 1555. 3 parts in 1 volume. 4to. With title in woodcut border with Cavellet's device and initials at the foot, each part-title with Cavellet's woodcut device, 1 folding woodcut map (31.5 x 35 cm) showing Mount Sinai, 44 woodcuts in the text (including a portrait of the author by Geoffroy Tory), and numerous fine decorated initials. Overlapping vellum (ca. 1600?). Full description
€ 12,500
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First edition of one of the most important natural history books of the Renaissance

BELON, Pierre. L'Histoire de la nature des oyseaux, avec leurs descriptions, & naifs portaicts retirez du naturel: escrite en sept livres.
Paris, Guillaume Cavellat (colophon: printed by Benoit Prévost), 1555. 7 parts in 1 volume. Folio. With a woodcut portrait on the back of the title-page (apparently of the dedicatee King Henri II, though copied in other books as a portrait of the author), large woodcuts of the skeletons of a man and a bird on pp. 40-41, plus 158 woodcuts (157 birds, 1 bat) in text. Contemporary blind- and gold-tooled calf (rebacked, with the original backstrip laid down). Full description
€ 29,500
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38 books found / Show all